1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. ATTENTION FORUM MEMBERS!

    Guest, if you have not yet updated your forum bookmark to a secure log in connection, please delete your unsecure book and add the following secure bookmark: https://www.aawforum.org/community/index.php

    You can dismiss this notice by clicking the X in the upper right of the notice box.

    Dismiss Notice

Buffing Speed

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Jon Murphy, Jan 30, 2014.

Tags:
  1. Jon Murphy

    Jon Murphy

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    Messages:
    63
    Location (City & State):
    Englishtown, NJ
    There are many opinions on buffing speed in the various instructionals on the web, but they all contain a fallacy. They use 8" wheels and give the speed in RPM, but the actual effective speed, as one is buffing on the periphery of the wheel or bowl buff, is feet per minute (FPM). Different sized wheels at the same RPM have very different effective speeds in FPM. I got into this dilemma as I use 8" and 4" wheels as well as a couple of sizes of bowl buffs.

    I make no pretense of being an expert in the best buffing speed, and it probably varies with the finish and the compound and personal taste. But that speed in RPM varies with the size of the wheel or bowl buff. A sudden remembrance of my high school geometry made me realize that one can easily figure the RPM for a desired FPM as one changes wheels. Good old Pi x D gives us the circumference of the wheel. For example, an 8" wheel has a circumference of 25" and a 4" wheel is 12.5". If you like 1000 RPM with an 8" wheel then you will like 2000 RPM with a 4" wheel. A 6" wheel is 18.8" around, and a 2" bowl buff 6.3" around, but that is too detailed - lets just make them 18.75" and 6.25" so that we have a nice straight line graph.

    I'll use 1000 RPM as it is an easy number, I prefer a higher RPM for my 8" wheels. That gives us 25,000 inches per minute, or 2083 FPM. A 4" wheel at 2000 RPM also gives us 2083 FPM. If the 6" wheel circumference were actually 18.75" then 1500 RPM would also give 2083 FPM (18.75 is close enough to the actual 18.8 to just use the factor).

    I might point out that the same consideration applies to turning and sanding. The recommendations for turning speeds (rough and finish) in your lathe instructions are the same principle, it is the speed of the surface of the wood against the tool in FPM that is the criterion.
     
  2. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2004
    Messages:
    7,317
    Location (City & State):
    Cookeville TN USA
    I use 3" wheels at about 2000 rpm. Sometimes a lot slower if I'm buffing 3 dimensional carvings High surface speed makes the wheels too firm. Slower speed lets the fibers reach i to those nooks and crannies High surface speeds are great for buffing flat surfaces like guitars. I had problems with the 8" wheels burning through the lacquer so I switched to the 3" and much prefer them
     
  3. Mark Mandell

    Mark Mandell

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Messages:
    2,542
    Location (City & State):
    Annandale, New Jersey
    I don't machine-buff turnings but I'll point out that having variable speed on your buffer, whether stand-alone by your lathe, is a large advantage. Buffing is just another form of sanding; it creates heat and abrades the surface. Too much of either can wreck a surface in short order, not to mention grabbing and launching the item across the room.

    BTW, You guys are wearing face and lung protection, right? Buffing compound, micro-fine particles of finish, and buffing wheel fibers will mess you up just as well as sawdust and other nasty stuff.

    Personally, I prefer the control of hand polishing if I want a wet-look surface on a piece of wood.

    wt194 mark mandell.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014
  4. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    11,250
    Location (City & State):
    Dalworthington Gardens, TX
    Home Page:
    Dang! So, that's my problem. I was using furlongs per fortnight as my measure of speed. :rolleyes:
     
  5. Mark Mandell

    Mark Mandell

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Messages:
    2,542
    Location (City & State):
    Annandale, New Jersey
    Should do fine, long as you're buffing the clubhouse turning
     
  6. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2004
    Messages:
    6,483
    Location (City & State):
    Lakeland, Florida
    Home Page:
    You still have a problem that would be FPF :)

    Brings back memories of unit analysis to balance equations.
    Kept those little length, time, spacial, and geometric gremlins out of the solution.
    More than once a confusion between degrees-radians or geodetic-geocentric or nautical-statute miles caused a big ship to report a position on dry land.
    :)

    Al
     
  7. Mark Mandell

    Mark Mandell

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Messages:
    2,542
    Location (City & State):
    Annandale, New Jersey
    On top of which, when dealing with feet/furlong, you need to divide by the number of nags and then multiply by 4.
     
  8. Steve Worcester

    Steve Worcester Admin Emeritus

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    Messages:
    2,638
    Location (City & State):
    Plano, Texas
    Home Page:
    Also remember that if you are using a wax, it has to get hot enough (speed) to melt the was too.
     
  9. odie

    odie

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Messages:
    5,349
    Location (City & State):
    Panning for Montana gold, with Betsy, the mule!
    I've been using the Beall buffing system for close to a decade now. The FPM may make a difference with some buff/wax methods, but I haven't noticed any negatives using a single speed and various sized wheels and bowl buffs from Beall. I'm using a home-made buffing station using my old Leeson motor, from when I changed over to variable speed on my Woodfast lathe. It's a 1 1/2hp 1850rpm motor. The power is way more than necessary, but it was used because it was there, and available. Prior to making this buffing station, I was using a 1/3hp motor......and, that's not enough power to do the job without bogging down.

    If there is any difference with FPM, it might be that the smaller wheels and bowl buffs may take a little longer to achieve the same results. I normally use the biggest diameter wheels for buffing out my bowls, and only go to the smaller ones when necessary.

    Some woods buff out much better than others, and have nothing to do with the method of buffing. I haven't found any species of wood that won't take a nice aesthetic buffed appearance with Beall buffs, nonetheless.

    Quick question for anyone: Has anyone here used the horsehair buff from Beall? There are times when I have a very delicate surface, due to natural imperfections. I'm wondering if using the horsehair buff might be useful for certain applications like this......:confused:

    ooc
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014
  10. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    11,250
    Location (City & State):
    Dalworthington Gardens, TX
    Home Page:
    I get much better results by using Johnson's Paste Wax and a microfiber towel. I no longer use the Beall buffs and all the mess that they make.
     
  11. odie

    odie

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Messages:
    5,349
    Location (City & State):
    Panning for Montana gold, with Betsy, the mule!

    What mess?

    No mess here......

    ooc
     
  12. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    11,250
    Location (City & State):
    Dalworthington Gardens, TX
    Home Page:
    I meant the swirl marks that never quite completely disappear. Plus the paste wax is faster.
     
  13. odie

    odie

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Messages:
    5,349
    Location (City & State):
    Panning for Montana gold, with Betsy, the mule!
    Hard to say what's going on with your swirl marks, but I'm getting a perfect defect-free wax finish with the Beall system.

    No question that a paste wax is easier to apply than the hard carnauba wax. The paste wax isn't as durable or lasting, though.

    For years, I was using the "Black Bison" paste wax from Liberon when I was still finishing bowls on the lathe. It's similar to the Johnson's wax. Since changing over to the Beall buffing method, everything is done off the lathe now, and my results are a marked improvement.

    Bill, are you using any powered method of buffing out the wax, or are you strictly doing it by hand? Still on the lathe?

    ooc
     
  14. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    11,250
    Location (City & State):
    Dalworthington Gardens, TX
    Home Page:
    No, I never power sand or power buff because they are too aggressive when when creating a high gloss finish. The Paste wax doesn't need buffing just a microfiber cloth to remove the haze. My main purpose in waxing is to use it as a film former over a finish that I have used a polishing compound. Even the finest polishing compounds leave microscopic scratches that will look like a light haze under bright lights. The human eye has a resolution of about one milliradian which would say that the fine polishing scratches can't be resolved. Strictly speaking, that is true, but the net effect is that it still causes random light scattering which lowers contrast when the surface is viewed at a shallow angle.

    Once in a blue moon I apply wax on bare wood in which case the Beall buff to apply hard carnauba wax is a better way to go because it doesn't darken the wood like paste wax does.
     

Share This Page